McMaster uses traditional interview style where there are (usually) 2 interviewers that sit (or video conference) with you for a chat for 20-30 min (20 min for course-based stream interviews and 30 min for thesis-based interviews). The main goal of McMaster’s MSc ehealth admissions interview is to assess your employability (or your ability to get hired) for internship. You should keep that in mind when answering any questions asked during the interview.
The interview can be broken down into 3 different parts (or 4 parts for thesis-based applicants) (approximate % of interview allocated to each part):
- Opening Conversation (5%-15%)
- Behavioral Interview (75%-85%)
- Research Questions (thesis-based interviews only) (25%-35%)
- Your Questions (5%-10%)
The Research Questions section is for thesis-based stream applicants only. To accommodate for these additional questions, thesis-based applicants' interview will be 10 min longer and will also have less behavioral questions than course-based interviews.
1. Opening Conversation
The interview will usually start off with very general and conversational questions like “tell us about yourself” or “why ehealth.” These questions serve as an ice-breaker and allows the interviewer to get to know you from you, not from your essays, or resume/CV, or references, or GPA. In fact, your interviewer may not even have read your application.
Even though this section is short, answering these questions well is important for two reasons. First, they leave your interviewer first impressions about you. Having a great first impression can work very favorably for you for the rest of your interview. Second, your response to something like “tell us about yourself” will set the stage for subsequent questions in this portion of the interview, because your interviewer’s next set of questions may very well just be a follow up to something you just mentioned in this response. By strategically mentioning only things that you want the interviewer to follow up on, it gives you control over (at least this section of) the interview.
Strategy & Preparation
Fortunately, this portion of the interview can be prepared. You can think of these questions as the interviewer granting you an opportunity to discuss anything you’d like about yourself.
Many applicants take “discuss anything you’d like” at face value and therefore miss this golden opportunity to take charge of the interview. They simply recite some experiences from their resume and maybe mention something they achieved from these experiences. The problem is, you shouldn’t just talk about anything – what you want to talk about is why you’re a great candidate, or a great future ehealth professional and mention experiences that exemplify that. You should also touch briefly on why you want to go into ehealth (even if you were just asked “tell us about yourself.”) After all, the purpose of your “meeting” with the interviewer is for you to explain to the interviewer why you should be admitted to the MSc ehealth program.
Before you head into the interview, you should prepare (for this portion):
- Several reasons why you are a great candidate for MSc ehealth program at McMaster
- A list of experiences (preferably with achievements) that support your reasons for being a great candidate or a great future ehealth professional
- A cohesive explanation of your motivations for going into MSc ehealth (that references your experiences, whether work/volunteer/class/or personal)
- Any certifications or college registrations you hold
2. Behavioral Interview
The behavioral interview questions are the main part of the MSc ehealth interview. These questions are prepared by the interviewers prior to your interview. Regardless of how your answers were in the first portion of the interview, every applicant (at least for your same interview group) will get the same set of questions here. This portion of the interview requires more thought prepare.